#weekendcoffeeshare -7/18/2018

 

Good morning! Welcome to my #weekendcoffeeshare! Grab a cup of coffee or tea off the kitchen island. I believe there is also decaf of both there and some green tea. Help yourself to whatever your pleasure is and join me in my study.

I hope all of you are well and happy and getting along well with your writing projects. I’m proceeding with my novella and have had time to do some writing this week. I am working on the characters right now, fleshing them out, making them interesting. Do you use Scrivener? I am using it for my character studies as it seems really convenient for that, but I use Microsoft Word for my actual manuscript. This is the first time I’ve used Scrivener, so I’ll let you know how that goes. Do any of you have experience with that program?

I’ve also spent the week following the story about the environmental devastation in Florida. If you’re in the U.S., I’m sure you’ve heard about it. If you’re not, you may not. In short, the Gulf Coast of the Florida peninsula is being devastated by chemical runoff from the sugar cane operation around Lake Okachoobee. There was already a red tide on the Gulf Coast. Now, the runoff has caused a blue-green algae bloom that has caused a massive fish kill. Hundreds of sea turtles have been killed, which breaks my heart. Thousands of fish. This will impact the people of the Gulf Coast and their jobs for years to come.

We have a small place in Florida right in the middle of this runoff. We don’t think we can even go back except to get our belongings. Even then, it will be dangerous to our health. Tourism will be dead in Florida this coming winter which will destroy their economy. It’s very sad and unnecessary. I’m a bit of a political activist, so I’ve been involved in this during the week. A picture of the blue-green algae slime that is so toxic is below this post.

I’m also involved in trying to tame my wild puppy, Tucker! He’s so sweet, but completely out of hand at 5.5 months old. I’ve had five corgis in my life, but never a corgi with his temperament. I told my husband that his needs are above my pay grade! Together with his breeder, we’re trying to find a professional trainer for him. Not only will that be good for me, it will be good for Tucker. I have to be trained as well. I have to learn the secrets to controlling him and he has to learn to control himself. Herding dogs, like Tucker, are alphas by nature. After he’s trained, I want to involve him in something fun for him. I’m going to enter him in herding trials and let him do what comes naturally to him.

Environmental issues and character studies for my novella have been at the top of my list this week, along with dog training, of course. What have you been doing this week?

*Thanks to eclecticali for hosting #weekendcoffeeshare!

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#weekendcoffeeshare – 7/11/2018

Hello everyone! I’d like to invite you to have coffee with me after dinner tonight. I’m running late this weekend, but after dinner coffee might be fun for a change. I appreciate all of you attending my #weekendcoffeeshare tonight! There is a selection of coffee on the bar. There is also tea such as Earl Grey and Paris. Please help yourself.

if we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve had a difficult week, so please forgive me if I’m not my usual self. One of my former classmates and forever friends passed away and his visitation and services were this week. He was a special, unique man and he will be greatly missed by many. I had known him since we started kindergarten together at four years old and we then went through twelve years of school together. I’m sad tonight.

I’m having some behavioral issues with my five-month old puppy. It is disturbing and upsetting, having never dealt with such issues before with a puppy. I’m hoping, as he gets older, they will resolve themselves, but I’m working with him a great deal now.

I have embarked on a huge job. I am going through all my photos and the photos from my mother. I’m going to try to get the photos of other family members back to them and the photos of my own family in some semblance of order. I know, I know. It’s a big job, but it’s time to do it. It won’t be done overnight, I assure you!

I’ve done a good bit of writing this week. Sometimes, when life gets hard, I escape into my writing. That’s the story of this week.

A brief line from one of my favorite poems. I wish I could live like this:

”I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief”

—from “The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry

I’d love to hear about your week!

 

Thanks to eclecticali for hosting #weekendcoffeeshare.

 

#weekendcoffeeshare – 7/28/2018

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Good morning to all! Thank you for joining me, virtually today, for our #weekendcoffeeshare. I raise my teacup to you and hope you are enjoying a good strong cup of coffee or tea right along with me. I’m waking up at a remote location. I feel like I’m sitting at the top of the world, but I’m not. I am in the Great Smoky Mountains at a place, dear to all Tennessee lovers, called Rocky Top. Had you driven up here in an RV, pulling a car, with a 4.5 month old puppy looking out the windows crying, you would know why I feel like I’m at the top of the world this morning!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that to get to the RV campground here requires climbing up a mountain around a series of hairpen curves, no small feat for the RV that is towing. I wasn’t driving. Nope, not me. No way. It was scary as hell anyway. Just ask my puppy, whose eyes were as big as saucers. This campground is at Norris, Tennessee where Norris Dam and Lake are. My husband came here to fish. I joined him to try to socialize Tucker, the puppy, because I knew there would be plenty of people and dogs at the campground. What I forgot about were the bears. Yes, the black bear is prevalent in the park and I have just what they are looking for – a puppy. Going outdoors after dark is a bit perilous.

Other than being scared to death of the roads and the bear, it’s been a great trip so far. Lunch today in a fab little cafe in the town of Norris. The dam, which is awesome, was built back in the 1930’s and the Tennessee Valley Authority, who built the dam, provided housing in the form of an actual little town for its workers. Norris is one of only two such towns left. It is quaint and beautiful.

So far, Tucker has been walked to death. He has had a crash course in leash training, other dogs, and strange people. He has received an A+ in people skills, a C in leash training, and a failing grade in other dogs. That should tell you about the last two days of my life. He rides in the car like a champ. A pouting champ, but a champ nonetheless. The RV is too much for him and he hides in his crate. We’re expecting a lot of a puppy not yet five months old.

We’re here a few more days before we head home which is only a few short hours away.

Needless to say, making time for writing has suffered this past week. I have gotten a little work done on my novella and very little blogging done.

Before I close, I have to mention sports for a moment. I want to apologize to all my fellow UK Wildcats fans! Why? Because we are at ROCKY TOP. They will understand.

I’d love to hear about all of you! Wish me luck in the wilds of the Smoky Mountains!

 

*Photo Credit to Wikipedia

#weekendcoffeeshare – 7/21/2018

Oh, please come in, grab a beverage, and find a seat! I’m so sorry we had to meet in the coffee shop today instead of at my house! I’m having company today and tonight.

Thank you so much for dropping by my #weekendcoffeeshare today. Wasn’t that storm we had last night terrible? We didn’t get the worst of it here. About 70 miles to the west, in the city where many of my friends live, they got hit pretty hard. Lots of downed trees, power lines down, people trapped in cars. Several of my friends were without power or any services for many hours. At least the storm brought a cold front in with it and the weather is so much more pleasant today. The humidity is lower and so is the temperature.

I’m very proud of my 4.5 month old puppy, Tucker. He was a real trooper during the storm. There was big thunder and lightning. Tucker did lay close to me, but he was not fearful. When he first came to live with me, I played ball with him during storms. It seems to have helped him cope now.

Now for Tucker update for the week. His newest accomplishment is that he learned to be comfortable in his harness and his seat belt harness in the car. You can see him in the picture above. He is started to look around, look out the windows, just be comfortable in the car in general. I’m proud of him! Now if he’d only stop chewing on my hands and being a holy terror in my house! One step at a time, I guess! 🙂

My writing is going slowly right now. After all, it’s summer. I have a puppy to train and we are about to take a little vacation. In fact, next Saturday, I’ll write my weekendcoffeeshare from on the road in our RV! I’ll keep you in suspense until then. I have gotten some work done on my historical World War II novella this week, but not as much as I’d like.

Some sad news. I think I’ve mentioned before that I went to an unusual high school. It was located on a college campus and was a private, teacher training school. I went lock-step through twelve grades with the same 28 kids, give or take. Most of us are still close. We grew up much like siblings. One of the boys in our class is quite ill and may not make it. One of the other people in the class, a girlfriend, is driving here today to visit him. She is my company for the evening.

That’s all from northeastern Kentucky today. Thanks for joining me for coffee! I hope all of you are meeting your writing goals, but that you’re also having fun this summer!

 

Thanks to eclecticali for hosting #weekendcoffeeshare!

Hemingway and the Sea – #SoCS

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The “Old Man and the Sea.” One of my favorite books by my favorite classical author.

This isn’t a book review. Far from it. Who could review Hemingway? I wouldn’t presume to do so. I’ve re-read “The Old Man and the Sea” recently and I just want to make a few comments about the book and about Hemingway.

One reason I like Hemingway as a classical author is because of his writing style. It is concise, succinct, and spare. He writes in short, declarative sentences. There is nothing flowery about his writing, unlike some of his contemporaries. He keeps many of the adverbs and a large number of the adjectives out of his writing. That lets the reader see the real story. The succinct story.

The book is, quite simply, about an old fisherman and his struggle with his last big fish. Most readers will draw the conclusion that the book is about a man’s struggle to prove himself one last time, in his old age. Hemingway didn’t feel the need to clutter up his story with descriptive adverbs and adjectives. He just wrote the story clearly and sparely. It’s classified as a novella, a form of literature which is back in style in publishing today.

His writing style must have worked. Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 for the “Old Man and the Sea.”

The Companions

You came to me at four months old, all full of puppy shenanigans. Sweet, kind, and loyal from the start, I couldn’t believe my luck. You were beautiful with the one blue eye and one brown eye. It’s been 20 years ago and I remember what you looked like as a puppy precisely.

You and I were together through some hard times. My mother lived with us and when you were two years old, she passed away. You comforted me more effectively than anyone else could. We lived alone together,  you and I, for seven years, until you were nine years old. I wouldn’t have survived the loneliness without you.

We saved each other’s lives, you and I. You got a chew bone caught in your throat one night and you were choking to death. Somehow, I pried it out before you died. Innumerable times, you woke me up when my blood sugar was low and saved my life. I literally owed you my life.

When you were ten years old, I remarried. I still had to see you the last thing before I closed my eyes at night and the first thing when I opened them in the morning. You were starting to get old. You had fought chronic pancreatitis all your life.

When you were fourteen, you had a tooth abscess. There was no choice but to have your veterinarian pull it. When you came home, you collapsed for two days and the vet came to the house. I begged you to wake up. Finally, you did. You were never the same again. The vet diagnosed you with canine dementia brought on my the anesthesia.

Within six months, I couldn’t bear to watch you go to the closet door to go outside instead of the outside door. You didn’t feel well. When you looked at me, you were begging me with your eyes. I sent you over the Rainbow Bridge and it barely took any medication at all. It broke my heart.

For five years, I couldn’t bear to look at a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. They were all you. Finally, I started to miss having a Cardi in my home and a kind friend was able to find a puppy for me. He is of your bloodline, a great-nephew several times removed. Sometimes, he reminds me of you, but he’s his own little man. I love having a Cardi again.

I don’t expect him to replace you. I can already see signs of him becoming a great companion dog like you were, even though he’s only three and one-half months old. He’s so smart and I see the loyalty building. I wonder what you’d think of him?

He’s the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night, just like you were. I love you, Eliza, and now I love Tucker too.

https://rosemarycarlson.com

#weekendcoffeeshare – 04/29/2018

Please, grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit with me. I have been out of things for awhile and I only just learned that eclecticali has taken over #weekendcoffeeshare and I want to say a big thank you! I’ve always enjoyed writing and reading these posts and have missed it!

If we were having coffee, I would try to catch you up on my writing and my life while asking about you. I feel that I’ve gotten to know so many of you and this is the forum where we could always share and catch up with each other. As for me, it has been a tough winter here in the Ohio Valley in the U.S. A long winter that started in November and hasn’t ended yet since it frosted last night. Very cold, snowy. Spring is trying to come, but it’s a very late spring since in two days, it will be May!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I took a rather long writing break during the winter. I was in the middle of my novel and for those of you who have written a book, you know that the middle is the hardest part. I put it down and have just now picked it back up again. I feel like I’ve now gotten some perspective on it and can continue to write. Sometimes, you have to get some distance. The distance helped me and I think, now, I can write with a vengeance.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been without a dog for over nine months now. That’s the longest I’ve ever been without a canine companion in my life. I had a dog during this time, but she was a fear biter so that didn’t work out. I’m waiting on a puppy! I’m excited about that and hope that this works out. Anything can happen with puppies, so right now I’m just keeping my fingers crossed.  I should know in about two weeks about the puppy, so be hopeful for me!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I don’t do well without a dog in my life. I’ve always had a special relationship with them.

If we were having coffee, I would share with you that my husband is waiting to see a neurosurgeon. He has a back issue that is painful and somewhat disabling. We are both worried and hope that he can try physical therapy first. We don’t intend to jump into surgery.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you to tell me how you have been and what is going on with your writing and your life. I’ve missed hearing your stories! I’d also like to know if there is a badge or image that we should put on our #weekendcoffeeshare posts? Thanks!

Thanks to electicali for hosting #weekendcoffeeshare

Hospitality in the Retail Sector

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I went to a new day spa last week. I really enjoyed my experience there. Part of the reason that I did was their hospitality. Of course, that is supposed to be part of the experience at a day spa. You pay for a period of hospitality and pampering, although some are better than others. I have visited other day spas that were also very hospitable and some that were not. I doubt the ones that were not stayed in business very long since hospitality is part of the business model for day spas.

During and after my visit there, I started thinking about business today and how inhospitable most retail business is to customers. I don’t shop much in brick and mortar stores, preferring to do most of my shopping online. But when I do shop in the brick and mortar stores, it always strikes me how retail stores could do so much better from a profit perspective if they were only hospitable to their customers.

The sales staff in large retail stores certainly never make a move to help the people shopping in their stores. That attitude trickles down to even the smaller, boutique retail shops. Although the smaller shops occasionally help their customers, particularly if asked, I would not call them hospitable. In most stores today, sales staff seems almost non-existent and the staff that does exist seem to prefer to stand around talking to each other instead of helping customers. I’ve even had sales staff tell me that the product I’m looking for is available online but not in their stores, so I would be better served by shopping in their online store.

When I hear that vocalized, I always wonder why there is even a brick and mortar store there? If they don’t have their own products nor the sale staff that wants to sell them, why don’t they move to 100% online? They would save so much money.

I call the current attitude of many retail stores the “Wal-mart Mentality.” Anyone who has read much of what I write knows my issues with Wal-mart. Wal-mart may have provided a low-cost way to shop but trying to find assistance if you are shopping there is impossible. There are not hospitable. It seems that, since Wal-mart came to communities, other retail outlets have adopted their business model of not helping or caring about their customers.

I’m left wondering how much more profit retail businesses would make if they would be more hospitable and helpful to their customers. If they trained their sales staff in courtesy and hospitality, I would guess they would see their profit margins rise.